Merry Little Birdies

Through the years, I have heard lots of talk about Red Rump parakeets. Everyone seemed to want a pair. My friend who had a parrot business was unhappy when her pair wouldn’t breed. I looked at the birds, pretty little things, but not exciting to me. What was the big deal?

At the December bird club holiday party meeting, a good friend won a pair of red rumps. She didn’t have a place where she could put them, and she offered them to me. I obviously said no. No Problem. Put them in my car! Sigh.

M & D best

I did research on them and had confirmation that they needed a bigger cage than the one they arrived in. So I cleaned one of many cages hanging around my backyard and wheeled it inside. The turaco chicks are all grown up now and need a bigger cage then they have. But that’s a cage to clean on another day.

Because I needed to know, I caught the male red rump in my hand. He bit me. Yup. Just about the same bite as budgerigar. He went into the cage easily and I netted the female. I read that they are playful and curious birds, so they have a swing, toys, and an empty box to chew up.

M & D


Mike read that they are mostly found in the Murray-Darling Basin in south-east Australia. So the male is Murray and the female is Darling. Perfect name for these parakeets. As I discovered quite by accident.

I spend usually an hour every day in my living room comfy chair, reading or watching movies. This is where I usually take the most photos of my dog and birds. It’s a nice lull in my day of writing, cleaning, yard work, feeding, cleaning, fixing bird food, cleaning, and playing with the birds while they get out time. Did I mention cleaning? Yeah, because that’s the most fun ever in my routine.

There I was, sleeping, I mean, reading in my chair, and a trill of beautiful notes cascaded through the room. I checked to see if the canaries had gotten out of their cages. No, still sitting in proper places but very attentive to the new singer. I returned to my chair and picked up my book.

M & D 2

“Tweet tweetily tweet tweet chirrup!”

The red rumps were singing! Both male and female sang. And their song is charming.

I feel guilty now, knowing what amazing and entertaining birds these are. But the friend who gave them to me only has cockatiels in an outside aviary and red rumps are too aggressive to put in with the mild-mannered tiels. I plan to put these birds outside next summer and give them a nest box. Hand raising their chicks will be fun. And maybe my friend will be able to house a tame one inside.

Now, I know what you are thinking. I’m supposed to be downsizing. Big time. You know, to move to another state north of California. While there are still many good reasons to relocate out of this state, there are one or two reasons to stay here. First of all, the move itself would be a monumental effort that neither my husband or I are up to. Second, my son and his girlfriend are talking babies. What grandmother-in-waiting would leave that behind? Not last or least, I have a bit of family left here, a huge gathering of friends, organizations that matter to me, and landmarks that are a part of my life.

Yes, I was totally ready to leave that behind if it meant I could have a few acres of land all to myself for my birds. I was going to get miniature horses and highland cows and all the animals I so adore. Yeah. Sure. Those were pipe dreams to make the move more palatable. Mostly I wanted to give Mike a chance to live in a cool climate where he would be comfortable. Neither of us enjoys the heat.


122417 Red-Rump-Parakeet-Chicks
Photo from Singing Wings Aviary

At this time, things are holding while life goes on around us. There are baby lovebirds to tame and rehome, turacos to nurture until they can move on, more baby lovebirds to be hatching any day now, budgie to set up to breed, and lots of finches to enjoy outside.

And the sweet sounds of a pair of red rump parakeets floating through the house. Thanks for reading. May you and your flock have a Merry Christmas! I’ll be back next Sunday.

One thought on “Merry Little Birdies

  1. How lovely to learn that they sing! I have two Princess of Wales Parakeets, also from the interior of Australia, and they are wonderful pets. I have them in my aviary full of cockatiels, budgies, a love bird and one mourning dove. I hand raised the pair of POWs and they remained tame. They don’t sing, though, but do cackle and have several fun calls. I would love to meet your red rump pair sometime and hear them sing. And when you move to Oregon, we can be neighbors 🙂

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